Humboldt upsets Lions

CLEAR LAKE – The 10th-ranked Humboldt baseball team knocked out No. 3 Clear Lake in a Class 3A district final here Monday night, winning 4-3 over their North Central Conference rivals.

After besting the Wildcats twice during the regular season, the Lions were never really able to solve them on Monday. Time after time, the Lions would get a runner or two on base but each time, Humboldt worked its way out with minimal damage or none at all.

The first jam Humboldt starting pitcher Brenden Schnell worked his way out of came in the first as Clear Lake had runners on first and third with one out. Schnell got the next two batters to strikeout to end the threat.

Jacob Hogan reached on a double to lead off the second but was tagged out at third on the next play and Schnell again worked out of a sticky situation.

On the other side, Humboldt hit one-out doubles in each the first and second innings but came away with nothing both times.

It wasn’t until the fifth inning that either team scored but Nick Laing, hitting out of the nine spot, connected on a two-run home run that barely cleared Clear Lake left fielder Parker Truesdell’s glove and the fence.

Clear Lake got one run back in the bottom of the inning when pinch-hitter Matt Stephany delivered a solo home run on the first pitch he saw.

Humboldt scored in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Connor Vitzthum that scored Austin Zylstra.

Clear Lake’s best opportunity to gain the lead came in the bottom of the frame when it loaded the bases with no outs.

David Vohs, who was pinch-running for Hogan, scored on an error with no outs but the Lions were unable to do anything else as a double play and a ground out ended the threat.

Humboldt added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to make it 4-2 and Clear Lake, again, had another opportunity to score multiple runs in the bottom half of the inning but came up short.

The Lions got their first two batters of the inning on and Devin Uhlenhopp scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Keeran but that’s all they were able to get as Humboldt relief pitcher Chris Witzke got the final batter to strike out to end the contest.